Due to demographic development, there are an increasing number of untreated hearing-impaired persons in our society. At the same time, the use of communication technologies is increasing in all areas of life. In the "INTERKOMM" project, technologies were evaluated that allow users to adapt audio reproduction in communication systems to their individual hearing needs. The goal was improved speech intelligibility for persons suffering from hearing loss who have not had this treated with a hearing aid. In the project, intuitive operating concepts were developed and evaluated together with affected end users that allow simple adaptation of the audio signal - without the need for complex professional support like that required when adjusting hearing aids. For this purpose, it was necessary to sensibly reduce the large number of different signal parameters and make these interpretable for the user. In addition, operating concepts were developed for man-technology interaction (e.g. via touchpads, buttons, gesture control) and were then investigated for their practical suitability and user acceptance in combination with technical target systems such as telephone, smartphone or media.

Responsibilities of Fraunhofer IDMT

The goal of the work conducted by the Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA in the INTERKOMM project was to systematically investigate the need, benefits, costs and realization feasibility of new technologies for individual sound adjustment in communication systems in a series of studies. In cooperation with users, operating concepts were developed and evaluated for different scenarios at the workplace and in the home environment.

The project INTERKOMM was funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Hearing Assistance for Telephone and Consumer Electronics

The Fraunhofer researchers develop adaptation methods and user interfaces so that persons with both normal and impaired hearing can adjust the audio output to their personal hearing needs themselves at any time.